Pregnancy discrimination, which is a form of gender discrimination, is becoming a hot button issue in 2008. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a class-action lawsuit against Bloomberg L.P., the financial-services and media company founded by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, on behalf of at least 54 women who accuse the firm of discriminating against pregnant employees. The suit puts Bloomberg L.P. in a familiar position, representing the latest in a series of discrimination and sexual harassment complaints filed against the firm since the 1990s.
According to EEOC lawyer, Raechel L. Adams, the number of women represented in the class action is likely to grow. As part of its continuing investigation, the EEOC is interviewing 478 Bloomberg L.P. female employees who took maternity leave at some point from 2002 to the present.
Monica Prestia is among those represented in the suit. According to the lawsuit, Ms. Prestia received the worst performance review of her career after giving birth to her first child in 2005. Thereafter, the suite alleges, she experienced hostility from a supervisor who could not have children and was asked by a different supervisor: “What is this, your third baby?”
Although Mayor Bloomberg remains the firm’s majority shareholder, the suit does not name him as a defendant. For more information about this issue, please visit the New York Times article entitled, 54 More Women Accuse Bloomberg Firm of Bias.